A good morning at the track

This morning I headed over to the Bronxville track. It was early. It was raining lightly. I was ambivalent about my planned workout given how cruddy my Saturday session was.

But I felt good in the warmup despite the fact that it was 100% humidity. My hamstrings felt okay. I’ve slept remarkably well for the last five nights (my longest stretch without insomnia in a few years).

My workout plans, from a pure workload perspective, were not ambitious. But there was, today, an important psychological component to the proceedings. In short, I wanted confirmation that I could run 800 meters under 3:00 without doing an all out effort. I figure if I can manage that at this point, I should be able to crack 6:00 in the mile in a few weeks.

I was prepared to give it three tries. I only needed one: 2:57. Okay. I can work with that.

Since I am saving my legs for my time trial in the Tuckahoe mile road race on Sunday, the rest of the planned workout consisted of shorter repeats with nice long rests inbetween. These too yielded some pleasant surprises (please ignore that second 400; I have no idea what happened on that one):

400s: 88, 96, 91

200s: 37, 38

100s: 19, 17

I ran 100 meters in 17 seconds while tired.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was listening to Van Halen’s “Dance the Night Away” at the time. That’s a really good song to run fast to.

Is that fast?

It seems fast.

It’s 4:34 pace.

I think that’s kind of fast.

Or, at least, it’s fast for me.

Training: Aug 28-Sept 3

This is my 800th post.

It was a big week for training, the effects of which snuck up on me. Sunday was a day off owing to a hurricane (but mostly because it was a lot more fun to read, eat, nap and talk with my cohorts Amy and TK at the latter’s country digs in Pennsylvania than it was to run).

Fully recovered from the previous day’s hangover, TK and I headed out on Monday morning — which featured cool, dry post-hurricane weather — for what we thought would be a 12 mile run. (Amy is, alas, injured and can’t run; but, boy, can she still swim.) That turned into 14.6 after we missed a turnoff. Oh, well. At an average pace of 9:30, it was no slouch of a run. And encouraging for us both since we were able to converse easily for 2+ hours at that pace. I have not run this far in well over a year.

On Tuesday, as I could have predicted, my legs were shot. But I nevertheless was running at 8:40 pace. What gives?

On Wednesday I headed to the track and noticed undeniable progress.

On Thursday I did another quickish recovery run. In fact, all of my recovery runs (save for the long one on Monday) were sub-9:00.

On Friday I did another quick recovery run, again on tired legs, so I skipped the strides. Then a faster 7 miles again on Friday (8:47) in high humidity. Ho hum. This is getting boring.

On Saturday I tried a new track in Edgemont and found my training limits at the moment. I was running like poo for the longer stuff, although the shorter bits were still okay. I remembered that this was the third big workout in just 6 days, plus it was warm, very humid and I was running in full sun. Did I mention that there was a stiff wind too? So I am not going to worry about it.

I have been a good girl with regard to doing weight work and core work. Booya. I also did some foam rolling in there because I can feel my legs starting to knot up and that’s never a good sign.

I really should get a massage, but I’m afraid to. The last time I went to my massage person it had (like now) been months since my last visit and there was a lot of damage for her to undo. Fewer than 12 hours after the first damage control session my back went into spasm and I was in semi-agony for three days (she went out of town). Then she finished the job and that went away. But I don’t want to go now and risk another spasming right before a bunch of races. I think I’ll take my chances and get a massage after the Fifth Avenue Mile.

How much tighter can I possibly get in three weeks? Don’t answer that.

This morning I got up and was dog tired. Plus both hamstrings were engaged in mild grumbling. So I took the day off from all exercise. I’m scheduled for an early morning track session tomorrow but I will bag it if I still feel tired or out of sorts in terms of my hamstrings.

Oh, but these have been hard lessons.

And this little piggy went whee, whee, whee all the way home…

Sunset & Suds 5K

Free beer. A lovely view. And running. What’s not to like?

If you’re looking for a fast, flat and accurately measured 5K, consider running September 15th’s Sunset & Suds. That’s a Thursday evening. The race starts at 7 pm. This race is a fundraiser for my team, the New York Harriers, and for your registration fee you’ll get the alcoholic version of the Olive Garden’s Neverending Pasta Bowl: a free beer mug and unlimited refills (or at least that’s what I’m told). I’m thinking it will be a lot less revolting than what Olive Garden gives you. That’s a good thing.

Here are details. You can register in person (or by mail, although you’re cutting it a little close at this point) at Urban Athletics’ uptown store or on race evening near the start at Hudson Beach Cafe on 105th and Riverside. Here’s the flyer (PDF).

So come on down, run with me, and then get totally ripped on a school night.

A sweet little track off the beaten path

Joe did a recent tour of Mount Vernon’s track. Here’s my travelogue of the Edgemont High School track.

Faster and faster, little by little

I’ve gotten faster in the last month or so. This is a fact that cannot be denied.

For one thing, my recovery runs are now anywhere from 8:30-9:30 pace. Usually right around 9:00. I was heretofore running these at 10:00 or slower.

For another, my trips around the track are taking me less time. Two weeks ago I did a workout that consisted of 800s and 200s at high/higher effort. High being a little above tempo. Higher being something a bit short of all out. Splits for that were around 3:25-3:30 for the 800s and 48ish for the 200s. I did one two weeks ago, a 3:13 (I was hopped up on lots of caffeine), that was obviously way too hard. Yesterday I ran all three 800s in 3:13-3:15 at lower effort than last time. The 200s were 39-43. Hmm.

I run better when the humidity’s lower, as has always been the case, but low humidity is no longer a requirement for running fast. At this point, I’m feeling pretty good about my prospects at the Fifth Avenue Mile even if the weather’s hot and/or humid. But if it’s cool/dry weather, I’m feeling more than pretty good.

Next up, a mile road race in Tuckahoe on September 11th. We shall see. We shall see. Wish I knew if the course was accurate.

On another note: Jenny Simpson (nee Barringer) won gold at Worlds today in the 1500 final, in an inspiring sprint from about 120 metres out. She’s the first American woman to win gold in that event since Mary Decker Slaney did way back in 1983. And Morgan Uceny fell down about three minutes into the race, which was upsetting to see.

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